Question: Why did John Adams defend Captain Preston after the Boston Massacre?
Answer: John Adams
believed that the rule of law should be paramount and that the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre
deserved a fair trial. Adams successfully defended Captain Preston. Basically, Preston and his detachment of seven or eight men were quickly surrounded by angry Boston citizens. All attempts to calm the crowd proved useless. At this point, the accounts of the event vary drastically. Apparently, a soldier fired a musket into the crowd, immediately followed by more shots. This action left several wounded and five dead including an African-American named Crispus Attucks.
John Adams actions made him unpopular with the patriots in Boston for several months. He overcame this stigma because he defended the British through principle rather than sympathy for their cause.
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